image captions in Flash

Friday, March 4th, 2005

I’ve worked through a few programming sequences in Flash that have interest, at least as far as I’m concerned, beyond the syntax, roots, and variables. The first instance below presents a “paradoxical” image in five layers and three different actions.

The second instance which follows is a variation on the first and represents just a bit of tinkering.

But what’s the beef? The beef comes in the possibilities for different modes of presenting information in an interactive sense. I was messing with a little “presentation” on one of my son’s DVDs in which a child can decorate a party scene by “guessing” where an object, such as a banner, might go. Problem is there was only one place where the banner could go on the stage and if we tried to put it somewhere else, a woman’s voice would tell to try again as if we had chosen incorrectly. It wasn’t our fault that we preferred the banner on the ground outside Rabbit’s house. There wasn’t much play, choice, or fun in the “game” at all, so we sat around clicking all the wrong answers and making fun of the “nice” person’s voice.

In the Flash bits above, all kinds of possibilities could be constructed. The display of images from odd placeholders, interactive maps, multiple captions, surprising drags and masks, and even possibilities for writing in different ways, poems maybe that sleave out into white space for different effects. You learn what looks like a neat trick and then think about its variations.

2 responses to “image captions in Flash”

  1. Christopher says:

    Hmmm why am I not surprised that Steve would encourage non-conformity in his child :-)

    I believe the point of software like that, or the LeapPad series is to encourage children to understand the “common” concepts of our world and how things “normally” are placed. At TXCC in the cafe the banners for the clubs are not laying on the floor or under tables, they hang from the ceiling as that is the commonly accepted way of doing it.

  2. steve says:

    Christopher calls up the LeapPad system, which encourages interesting system interactions, with microphones, touchpad pointers, and intuitive instruments. But LeapPad is a better concept than the Pooh DVD I’m talking about in this related post. One of the interesting things about LeapPad systems is their means of encouraging different kinds of use and exploration. One of the things not so encouraging about them is that there’s no built in ability to “change” or “alter” the system to solve different problems. As kids, we liked Legos and erector sets and wooden blocks because “change” and “innovation” is inherent in their use, much like a hypertext that can be expanded by artists.

    In this case Flash is the erector set. Buidling for the interactor is the mystery.